Holiday to Alderney

After failing to book a proper holiday since I started my job (most of my weeks off work have been consumed by UKUUG events and other voluntary groups), I have decided to go back to Alderney for five days in October. Apart from being beautiful and quiet, it also has military history (the Germans occupied […]

My emergency budget

Tuesday will see George Osborne’s emergency budget, which I expect will contain a swathe of cuts and an increase in VAT. Since my A level in economics makes me more qualified to write a budget than Osborne (with his Modern History degree from Oxford) here’s what I would do: No tax cuts: It would be […]

Trip to Bletchley Park

On the off-chance that there are some people who read my blog but aren’t on Facebook, a group of us will be going to Bletchley Park on Saturday 19 June for the Vintage Computer Festival. Full details can be found on the mailing list archive of the original email. Join us for old computers and […]

A plan for buying Manchester United

I’m not a big football fan—I don’t even understand the offside rule—but I’m somewhat concerned about the finances of football clubs in the UK, especially Manchester United, after watching Panorama this week. Apart from anything else, United is part of the culture, heritage and landscape of Manchester, and no doubt provides a boost to the […]

Bytemark backup script

As some people are aware, I use Bytemark for all of my hosting, and I also resell some of their services. I’ve recently switched to performing my backups via rsync and thought I would share the simple script I use in case any other Bytemark customer is looking to do the same thing. #!/bin/bash BACKUPDIRS=”/etc […]

Thoughts on tax reform

In the run up to the general election, one thing which has disappointed me is that none of the three main parties have used the economic crisis as an opportunity to suggest radical reform of the tax system in the UK. Sure, the Lib Dems want to increase the personal allowance and introduce a mansion […]

django user variables and login forms

I’ve been working on Pub Gateway this afternoon, and I ended up with a slight problem with django’s authentication module. I’d managed to build a working login form which sent the user back to the home page if they entered a valid username and password. The only other thing I wanted was to change the […]

Thoughts on frameworks

I’ve been building dynamic web sites for over ten years now, and one of the things which has bugged me enormously is the huge amount of repetitive code I have to write, especially for form handling (including validation) and access control. At least half of my coding time is spent on this sort of work, […]

Thought for the day

Thought for the day (which probably wouldn’t get onto Radio 4): Any sane mail server logs the IP address of any remote server which connects to it and attempts to deliver spam. It’s possible to map an IP address to a physical location, with a reasonable degree of accuracy (if you pay for a good […]